What Are You Reading Right Now? – MBFLP 245

These are challenging times, and whether you need entertainment to pass the idle hours, or something diverting at the end of a stressful day, a good book is great to find. We’re book people, for sure, and we know the value of trusted authors and especially, those who have lots of titles to discover! So this episode, we’re talking about our favorite books and authors – some we share, and some we don’t!

We discovered we both enjoy mysteries 

As a genre, good detective stories offer a vision of right and wrong, and the possibility that truth can be found and justice prevail. We really like istories with likeable, well-developed characters, intriguing plots, and particularly, heroes who are fundamentally decent people. Stories with ambiguous or situational morals, protagonists we wouldn’t introduce to our family, or anything supernatural or occult, we don’t enjoy at all – those, we avoid.

Some of the classics we enjoy are the books by Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh, two authors of the “Golden Age” of British detective stories. From the same era, on our side of the Atlantic, are Erle Stanley Gardner (the creator of Perry Mason) and Rex Stout (whose eccentric genius Nero Wolfe was only a lightweight version of the somewhat eccentric author) – both of them, quite prolific!  (more below …) 

 

 

More modern authors, and featuring female protagonists, are Dorothy Gilman (whose Mrs. Emily Pollifax is more of a spy than a traditional detective) and Alexander McCall Smith, a Scottish mediccal professor who remembers his childhood in Botswana with a series about a woman who opens the first “Ladies’ Detective Agency” in her country.

Deserving special mention are the father and daughter duo, Tony and Anne Hillerman. Tony’s novels about the Navajo Tribal Police are packaged as supernatural thrillers, when they’re actually police procedurals placed in the complex culture of “the Rez” – the spooky covers simply recall elements of the traditional religion of “the Dine’ as the Navajo call themselves. His daughter Anne picked up Tony’s characters after his death, and she’s carried on the stories with the same skill her father displayed. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Hillermans’ books, and their description of the culture and landscape were confirmed by our travels in Arizona and New Mexico – doubling our enjoyment!

We have other books which Hal prefers more than Melanie, and some the other way around – to find out more about our favorites, check the longer article on our own blog here!

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